Boob Talk :: Breezy Breastfeeding

Before Reegan, I was not about the breastfeeding life. Sure, I was working with a company that helps promote lactation with an amazing on-the-go formula, but I myself didn’t think I would last more than 2 weeks nursing. Something about the mouth on boob thing secretly freaked me out. And I didn’t want to be “one of those moms” with her kids hand down her shirt. I’m not a boob person. When I had a flat chest, I still thought I had too much boobage. Not into it. I took the classes, but I was really just prepping to say “Look I tried.” Then Reegs was born. And it was the most natural thing in the world. Full convert.

I have friends who really struggled. Bleeding, infections, allergies, latching, you name it. We just didn’t. I think God knew that this was something that if I had stumbled I could’ve easily given her a bottle. I bottle fed my nannying babies (obvi), and I was formula fed due to being born early and needing particular formula. Everyone said breast was best, but I still think whatever makes the baby healthy and the mother sane is best.

I was however very lucky that I had SO many friends have babies before me. I credit them for us having a breezy breastfeeding path. So in an effort to pay that forward, I’m sharing my can’t live with out tips and tricks for breezy breastfeeding.

  • Pump right away! In the hospital, I had Nurse Rosie man handle the bejeezus out of me. She left a few finger prints on my boobs, but the woman knew what the heck she was doing. Reegs was borderline jaundice, and in order to pass her test Nurse Rosie knew she needed to be hydrated. So I nursed CONSTANTLY. If Reegs even made a peep, Nurse Rosie would appear out of thin air and say “Ooooh Mommy, she just wants a little snack.” Then I would have to pump, and then while my husband fed Reegs the bottle, Nurse Rosie would manually express whatever was left in me into a tiny medicine cup and then pour that in Reegs mouth. Reegs passed her jaundice test, and my milk came in right away. I still have some frozen bags of colostrum in the freezer to use as medicine. It is liquid gold. Don’t throw it away. My husband loves Nurse Rosie and still says “Ooooh Mommy…” in his best Jamaican  accent whenever Reegs is fussing. **Your insurance may send you a free pump. Each insurance sends the brand they have a deal with, I have an Ameda and I love it and I have friends with Medelas. They are all great. Don’t spend $350.
  • Nipple Shields. Learn it. Love it. My friend texted me a screenshot of these babies on Amazon when she first had her baby a few weeks before Reegan came. She said they were her saving grace. I asked about them in Baby Class, and got the old “We don’t recommend those.” Whenever people say those or that in that tone, ignore them. I promptly went out and bought 2 of them. I didn’t use them right away, but one day Reegan was refusing to eat. My milk had let down too strong and I was drowning the poor child. Enter Nipple Shield. That sucker made it where she wasn’t choking, and boom back to constant eating. I never bled or had a cracked nipple and I thank these tiny pieces of magic. I bought about 6 more and I carry one in my bra at all times. I only wish they had some form of color on them, because I lose them about 10 times a day.
  • Express Yourself. I was terrified of Mastitis. Legit so scared. All I can say is every time I’m in the shower I massage all around my boobs and under my armpits to make sure none of my ducts got clogged. I also change my boob pads out when they get saturated so I don’t risk my nipples staying too wet or get any bacteria in them. It all sounds gross, but it’s necessary.
  • Since they came up… Boob Pads. You need several pairs. By several, I mean at least 10. My mom kept telling this story to everyone while I was pregnant about how when my sister was born, my grandmother made her get out of the house and go to the grocery store alone. Since the invention of the boob pad wasn’t prevalent, someone else’s baby at the store started crying and my mom’s shirt became soaked in milk. No one had told her that the mere sound of a baby will make your boobs leak everywhere. She was obviously scarred for life. I thought she was exaggerating until I experienced the ridiculous leakage myself. When your milk first comes in, if you don’t have boob pads, your clothing is soaked. When you get out of the shower. Forget about it. Milk jets. Bamboo pads are amazing and a must have for breastfeeding mommies. You can get them at Babies R Us or on Amazon.
  • Diaper Heating Pad. Another friend’s lactation consultant told us about this and it’s magical. Right before you nurse or pump especially in the beginning, fill a clean diaper with HOT water. It will absorb a ridiculous amount of liquid (which is fun to see how much it takes in),  and then just place them on your boobs. Don’t go burning your boobs. Be reasonable about the heat. This feels amazing. It stays hot for a while and the damp heat gets your milk going. It also opens ups your milk ducts, once again helping you avoid Mastitis. I will use this trick for more than breastfeeding. Best. Heating. Pad. Ever.
  • Take a Class. As I mentioned previously, I took a course. Best part?! I dragged my 22 year old cousin along with me since my hubs was out of town. She called it “the best birth control ever” and said she learned a lot. Even better?! When she would come over after Reegan was born, I wasn’t uncomfortable feeding around her. The class allowed me to ask questions and start the conversation. I had heard to use this or that or to stimulate your nipples. I mean the list is never ending. But our amazing teacher, Janine Balkin at South Miami Hospital, said to use simple soap and water, less is more when it comes to the lotions and potions. Don’t clog yourself or dry yourself up. Janine Balkin also went over latching. This helped me in my C-section anxiety attack drug coma to some how know what I was supposed to do. If you are in Miami, reach out to Janine Balkin and tell her I sent you. Sweetest woman on the planet.
  • Take the Test. Sometimes momma just needs a drink. Or a bottle. (JK my max is 2-3 drinks these days after not drinking for a year.) These Milkscreen tests are awesome from breastfeeding. Just dip the strip in your pumped milk or squirt some milk on that little smart square to see what you BAL is before feeding our baby. We don’t use bottles often, but I always have one in the fridge just in case I actually have a hand free when the mood strikes me for a craft beer or a crisp white.
  • A Tip for The Road… When you are working on your supply, freeze some of your breastmilk in an ice cube tray. When teeth terrors begin, pop a cube in a mesh feeder. Liquid Gold Popsicles.  ( So Smart! Thanks, Kelley!!)